UWG’s inaugural horror film race offered students both a festive and educational opportunity to celebrate Halloween this year. On Oct. 31, students, faculty and Carrollton community members gathered for Horror Fest, a film festival showcasing short films created in just one week by students in the School of Communication, Film and Media.
The idea of a film race was brought to UWG by Dr. Patrick Clinton, a new professor in the SCFM, after running a film race at the Art Institute of Dallas.
“It was like exercise for filmmakers,” said Clinton. “It gave them a venue to show off their stuff. Not only get practice but an opportunity to show off their skills and I thought it would work well here. Especially, my first semester here, it gave me a way to meet students.”
“Even though they made these films in six days, some of them are very good, polished and at the point where they could be entered into film festivals,” continued Clinton.
Over 100 guests attended Horror Fest, many in costume complimenting the festivities. Faculty, students and even families of the team members came to support. A large turnout proved that students and faculty were eager to get involved in the event.
“It was the first time and I knew I was going to be pushing it,” said Clinton. “I was pleasantly surprised when we ended up with nine different teams showing up and I was even more impressed that all nine teams managed to finish their films.”
Students were able to create teams at the start of the film race. They delegated roles and developed a plan to execute their films. Each team drew a subgenre of horror and were required to work within that genre, no matter how bizarre.
“A lot of the project planning happened in one night,” said Jackson Sarna, a senior film student who was assigned the Japanese Horror genre. “It was very hectic filming over the weekend, considering I only had one other group member.”
While some groups were as large as ten members, this two-person team split the responsibilities of creating the storyboard, writing the script, shooting and editing the material well past midnight.
“Overall, I learned a lot from the experience,” said Sarna. “It gave me a much better grasp on how to set up things like lighting and how to work on films as a team, since I had only done solo short films before.”
While each team faced immense pressure, limited experience and other challenges during the race, they still produced quality films. UWG’s film race has a promising future ahead with plans for expansion and growth.